Should I pursue him?
January 30, 2007 5:31 AM   Subscribe

Should I pursue a guy I've only seen three times in 8 months?

This guy and I go back to last year, when we had a date in summer that lasted over 12 hours (with sex) and ended in a reasonably romantic walk around his beautiful college at 5am on a summer's morning. Sparks definitely flew.

I moved away a few days later, but we kept in touch over summer, as both of us were travelling/away. I saw him for a second date when I happened to be back in our university city in November - same thing happened. Last week, back there again for work, I text him on the off-chance he was free - same thing again. Lots of talking, kissing, arsing around in bed and general start-of-something feelings (on my part). He's funny and affectionate and smart and I like him a lot.

Just to complicate things, I'm in an open relationship with someone else, who doesn't inspire any of the above feelings in me.

My question, I guess, is what do I do? My heart is saying "chase him" but I'm very jaded right now (not had a good year for heartbreak) and unsure what he wants. Plus, we live about an hour apart in different cities. And I tend to feel like if he felt the same he might have done something about it by now. But, I don't feel like this very often.... help mefi!
posted by girlwonder to Human Relations (29 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This is where that one thing always comes in handy. What is it called? Oh right, talking. See what he thinks. If you're not willing to do that, see what he's up to next week. An open schedule is an invitation. An hour drive is not a deal-breaker by any means.
posted by tylermoody at 5:38 AM on January 30, 2007

Of course chase him. And then watch his reaction to the chase — it'll tell you what he wants.

If it starts looking like he isn't interested, or doesn't want anything more then sex, you may have a tough decision to make. But at least you'll be making it fully informed, knowing that's all he wants. If you just stand back and try to guess, you'll make yourself miserable.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:40 AM on January 30, 2007

Let's see...

1. An hour's distance apart is nothing.

2. Every time you've been around it's gone well.

3. It feels right.

4. Your current relationship doesn't sound very serious and doesn't push the right buttons for you.

5. Your last year is nothing to do with him and no indication of what this year is going to be like: it's the past.

You're not sure how he feels - so why not ask him? Worst he can say is no.
posted by handee at 5:41 AM on January 30, 2007

And I tend to feel like if he felt the same he might have done something about it by now.

What if he's thinking the same thing about you?
posted by 23skidoo at 5:51 AM on January 30, 2007

Yes, you absolutely should pursue him. The worst thing that can happen is you get rejected by some guy. The best thing that can happen is...well, I'll leave that up to you.

My wife and I met once and really hit it off. Then we met again, and really grated each other. Well, like 8 months goes by and I caught myself thinking about her. I realized all I had to risk was a little rejection so I contacted her. We got engaged 3 weeks later. It's worth a shot.
posted by milarepa at 6:01 AM on January 30, 2007

Have you only lived an hour apart all this time? Christ, I commute an hour to work every day.

Based on what you've said, I can't imagine that anyone here is going to tell you not to pursue him. You've presented no compelling reason for restraining yourself from making your feelings known to him. Go for it.
posted by amro at 6:19 AM on January 30, 2007

You have too. If you don't, you will always wonder what it could have been. You will forever wonder about the life you could have had.

If you do, the worst that could happen is that your hopes and dreams will be crushed. But it won't last forever.
posted by TheAnswer at 6:20 AM on January 30, 2007

Go with your heart.
posted by caddis at 6:41 AM on January 30, 2007

My question, I guess, is what do I do?

Quit being chickenshit and jaded and talk to him.

Opportunity isn't just knocking, it's banging at the window, telling you to come outside and play!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:06 AM on January 30, 2007

Fuck yeah. Text him and see if he wants to meet up. Perhaps invite him down for a weekend to some event that you're going to. Then you'll be able to spend more time together and see how things play out. The invitation also works are a reasonably subtle hint that you're interested in more than sex.

Good luck good luck good luck!
posted by pollystark at 7:56 AM on January 30, 2007

He's funny and affectionate and smart and I like him a lot.

Just to complicate things, I'm in an open relationship with someone else, who doesn't inspire any of the above feelings in me.

First things first: If your current relationship doesn't even inspire "liking [him] a lot", it could be wise to get out of the current relationship first. At least it would make the thought of pursuing someone else less complicated.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 8:12 AM on January 30, 2007

Chase him.
posted by ontic at 8:18 AM on January 30, 2007

How fast did the bedroom stuff happen on #2 and #3? I'd approach this with a little more caution if it was really fast, i.e., seemed to be the whole point of the date. Not that you shouldn't still try to make a go of things, but make sure you keep your eyes open as to whether he might be seeing this strictly as something casual or whether he has opened his eyes to the possibilty that there might be something more there.

My advice would be that the next time you go out make sure there is some reason why you cannot end up in the bedroom -- you have another appointment or have to get back home to do something. Have at least one date where you're just talking and having fun without the extra something something and see if both you and he are still interested. In any case, this should help you gauge his interest in a relationship.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:40 AM on January 30, 2007

An hour apart is just about perfect. Grab that net and catch that beautiful butterfly.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:51 AM on January 30, 2007

Most people here are very upbeat. And they're right: if you want him, "chase" him (intelligently). But I don't think you can draw big conclusions from what's happened so far; he may indeed just enjoy fooling around once in way. Or he may not know what he wants (who does, most of the time?) So take it forward, but take it easy, and remember, love should be fun.
posted by londongeezer at 9:09 AM on January 30, 2007

I'm gonna go against the flow of advice here and suggest that this new guy, cast in comparison to the person you have the open relationship with, might seem a shade or two shinier and more suited to you than he ordinarily would. My advice is coming from a decidedly non-polyamory (or however you want to term the whole "open relationship" thing) perspective, but to me it seems like it might do you good to sever the current relationship cleanly before pursuing a new one, especially if you have ambivalent feelings about the former. Either that or invest some time in figuring out how you really feel in that relationship.

To me it seems that the waters here are somewhat cloudy for you. Take action to clear them up a bit.
posted by hollisimo at 9:11 AM on January 30, 2007

An hour apart? You could ride a bloody bike!
posted by phrontist at 9:20 AM on January 30, 2007

What onlyconnect'll want to see if you are more than a late-night booty call to this guy.

But as for living in different cities separated by the epic distance of an hour's travel over wolf-infested arctic wastelands, evidently...I wouldn't let that be an obstacle, unless of course he lives in a rival city, you know, as St. Paul is to Minneapolis or Ft. Worth is to Dallas. Then my advice would be to destroy him before he throws down on you. Those people can't be trusted.
posted by Midnight Creeper at 9:53 AM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the advice so far, just a clarification on the distance - it's an hour's train ride, neither of us drives, we're both skint and I'm massively overly busy with work, all of which add to the sense you might get from the above that I find distance an issue!
posted by girlwonder at 10:00 AM on January 30, 2007

He's just not that into you. Sorry.
posted by clh at 10:04 AM on January 30, 2007

An hour's train ride is nothing. Many, many, people commute that to work, so unless it's like an extra two hours to get to the train or something I still don't understand.

You've got to talk to him about this.
posted by xammerboy at 10:12 AM on January 30, 2007

Sorry, but it's way too soon to bring up the Greg Behrendt book. At this point, writing it off with that stupid phrase would just be an excuse to not find out the truth. (Maybe she'll get to know him better and find SHE'S not that into HIM! What about that?) She hasn't spent enough time with him yet for the real potential of the situation to be clear. So don't stomp on the infatuation just yet.

There's a lot of good advice up there. Just communicate with eachother and keep your hopes and expectations in check.

And if he doesn't respond as a suitor should? Well, THEN maybe he's not that into you.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:11 AM on January 30, 2007

There's no reason not to pursue him since it sounds like you hit it off and have fun. But it's possible the open relationship is making him more hesitant. I might consider fun NSA sex with a woman in an open relationship, but I wouldn't want to be more involved, if that makes sense; it's just not a scene I would be comfortable with. I'm definitely not making a moral judgment as I'm very much a "whatever floats your boat" type person, just explaining something that wouldn't work for me.

Since it sounds like the open relationship isn't going well you might consider ending it so you can approach the new guy without any attachments.
posted by 6550 at 11:38 AM on January 30, 2007

(posting via sock puppet)

Let me tell you a little story about what happens when you chicken out instead of communicating in situations like these.

I'm a woman in my 30s. At the end of high school, a male friend and I started an on-again, off-again thing. Our flings, marked by intense chemistry and gradually deepening feelings, and eventually separated by many months at a time and great distance (an hour apart? Try a full time zone after we both went away to different colleges and grad schools!), lasted until our mid-20s. I was basically in love with him, but never said anything - assumed, of course, that HE'D be the one to say it, to give the signal that we should finally start dating each other exclusively (distance be damned!) to see if it would work out between us.

But he never did - and so, I figured, "he's just not that into me." (This was years before the stupid book came out, btw.) This conclusion seemed to be confirmed when he finally called me one day and basically gave me the whole "we just have to be friends" speech.

And so: OK. We became friends. We never never again hooked up (we still lived in different parts of the country), but we always had a blast hanging out a couple of times over the ensuing 10+ years when we were back in our home town... and I always still had feelings for him, but I pushed them aside -- because hey, "he's just not that into me!"

So our lives went on. He got married. I got married. His job eventually took me to the city where I live now (his wife is finishing up her job in their old city before she moves here with him). He and I started hanging out again - because, after all, we're just old friends... all that romance and attraction is just ancient history... he was never that into me, right?

Wrong. He had been in love with me too, all those years ago, but kept waiting for ME to speak up... and when I didn't, he concluded "she's just not that into me" - hence his whole "let's just be friends" speech that ended everything. So here we are more than a decade later, and we look at each other and see what might have been had either one of us just SPOKEN UP and said how we felt, all those years ago, instead of carrying our torches in secret.

But we didn't. Life went on, and the clock can't go backwards. He and I can't really be friends, of course; the mutual feelings and attraction are still there, and still intense - so much so that he was prepared to leave his spouse for me if I would leave mine, which I won't (I really love my partner and genuinely don't have the desire to end our relationship). And so now...we've agreed to never see each other again. Best for all involved? Probably. Desperately heartbreaking, in a way I would have never expected? You bet.

So for god's sake, speak up. If the answer's "no," let it be "no." But don't assume "no" when the answer could very well be "hell yes."
posted by the unguarded moment at 2:12 PM on January 30, 2007 [2 favorites]

Sorry, "His job eventually took me to the city where I live now" should be "eventually took HIM to the city where I live now".
posted by the unguarded moment at 2:19 PM on January 30, 2007

You, I, and the other MeFites here, don't know how he feels. So don't listen to anyone who says he's not into you. You can't read people's minds. So I advise the following: (1) Dump your current open relationship--not that many people are into that sort of thing and I would run like hell if I were him--too many risks, like you doing the same thing to him that you are doing to the other guy (even if it is permitted in the relationship); (2) Call him and be flattering; (3) don't bring up the serious stuff until you see what is going on with this guy and you.

You'll have to take a few risks here, but that's love.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:38 AM on January 31, 2007

When I clicked on "should I pursue him" I was imagining a situation where you've met someone, never dated them yet, never had any sex with them, and don't know how to make them realise you fancy them, and don't know if they do fancy you. Like, a starting from stratch pursuing situation.

Instead, you've already got proof the attraction is mutual, and hey there's lots of talking and being funny and affectionate too, that's not that bad a stage to start form, is it?

The only way to know if there's more than that and if any deeper feelings are also mutual is, guess what, to do more of the same again, and more often. You've only had 3 dates spread out in 8 months. If you keep on that pace it'll take you five years to find out if you could even begin to call this a relationship. All you need to do is shorten the time span.

I wouldn't see this as 'pursuing' as just giving it a proper try in a normal 'dating' stage, without being pushy or demanding, without having too many expectations - also consider all the time you've spent apart between seeing each other could be contributing to higher expectations, as you've had far more time to think about being with him than to actually be with with him.

Before you even start asking him about his feelings, you need to see each other a lot more.

The other guy, open relationship or not, 'new' crush on the horizon or not, if you don't even like him that much, why bother stay with him?

If distance is an issue due to work and all, then arrange to meet up only at weekends. Surely one hour by train on a weekend to meet someone you like is something even the busiest person can fit in their schedule.
posted by pleeker at 5:04 AM on February 2, 2007

Yeah, definitely go after him!
posted by sebas at 9:48 AM on February 2, 2007

I pursued, I asked to see him at some point, in a non-scary way, and I was literally ignored!

You win some you lose some!
posted by girlwonder at 7:04 AM on February 8, 2007

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